Can you be evicted from a long term care facility?

A fellow caregiver asked...

What if your parents go into an assisted living facility or independent apartment with continuing care option and are able to pay for the first two to three years, but then run out of money and either both or one of them now requires nursing home care, can they be forced to move out? Neither my siblings nor I would have the kind of money available for long term care for our parents, beyond what they have themselves.

Expert Answer

Maria Basso Lipani writes a popular website on geriatric care topics, where she puts her expertise as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to good use answering care planning questions. Maria is a graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work and is licensed in California and New York.

This is a great question. If your loved one resides in an assisted living or independent apartment and becomes unable to pay the bill, and if family cannot step in to cover the cost, he or she will be asked to leave.  If he or she does not leave, the facility may begin the eviction process. 

That said, there are some assisted living facilities that accept Medicaid, so it is definitely worth the effort to try to find one, but they are few and far between and waiting lists can be long. Even so, a facility's costs can exceed the Medicaid reimbursement so there can still be out-of-pocket expenses although they should be much less.

Most people choose to spend what funds they have on home care or an assisted living facility until the money dwindles to the Medicaid maximum.  Then they apply for Medicaid and transition to a nursing home.  New York is the only state I am aware of that offers a second option which is Medicaid-covered home care.  With this option a Medicaid applicant can transfer assets to an adult child for example and still qualify for home care.  If your parents reside in New York, you'll want to look into this option.